Open your freezer right now. Look in. Is there a healthy grab-and-go bite-size dessert in there? If not, think how happy you would be if a tray of this deliciously creamy no-guilt fudge was starting at you.
This is how it works. I make at least one tray of petite freezer-friendly dessert every week. After dinner or when we are binge-watching TV shows, I don’t have to worry about it when Steve grabs his idea of healthy snacks (which somehow he can rationalize as being fried chips with a whole tub of dip), because I can just open the freezer and grab the best desserts ever.
This fudge is not one of those desserts that “tastes good for something that’s healthy.”
It IS really good… even if it wasn’t healthy you would grab it. I mean it. Really.
With this pumpkin peanut butter fudge in the freezer, the chips in our cabinet went stale. Yup, this one’s a winner and even trumped the chips in flavor.
A great thing about this fudge: you can have 2 or 3 pieces without killing your diet. It’s actually good for you, tastes like a combination of decadent peanut butter fudge co-mingled with an ice-cream bonbon, and no cooking experience is required.
I’ve made many batches of healthy fudge, but this one is my favorite. Here’s what’s in it and why it’s so good for you:
Pumpkin can help reduce pain and fever and can soothe stomach irritations. It’s a great food to treat constipation, allergies and asthma. It’s high in vitamin A and can help protect your lungs and intestines from cancer.
Cashews are really a multi-tasking nut. I use them all the time so I say it all the time: Cashews have a lower fat content than most other nuts. Most of the fat in cashews is unsaturated and is made up of oleic acid; this is the same acid that is found in olive oil, making these nuts a heart-healty choice. For this fudge I used cashew butter and it really is just perfect — I like the creaminess it lends to the fudge and it tastes awesome. I know some of you have a problem finding raw nuts sometimes — I’m happy to try to help you locate them if you need shopping suggestions, so just leave a comment and I will try to help. I buy then whenever and wherever I see them. I’m also lucky enough to live near a Whole Foods, so I sometimes buy them from the bulk bins here.
Dates are rich in potassium, dietary fiber and tannins. Fiber is good for your gut and tannins help the body fight inflammation and infection. Dates are also rich in vitamin A and iron. The most amazing thing about dates is that they can be used to replace sugar in almost anything. I stopped using sweetened protein powders in my smoothies and now I use unsweetened ones but I add a few dates. This fudge requires no sugar because we fill it with dates — amazing, really!
Goji berries are a chinese herb (Gou Qi Zi). They are great for your blood. I prescribe them to some people with chronic pain in the legs and lower back. They are also good for men experiencing impotence and can be used to treat some eye problems. Women who are pregnant and people with intestinal issues should be careful not to eat too many gojis, but the amount in this fudge should be fine for anyone.
Cinnamon is one of the best herbs to warm the body. It’s great if you have a cold. If you are nauseous or have diarrhea, go for the cinnamon. It also gives you energy and helps with menstrual pain. Cinnamon is used in different forms in Chinese medicine: “gui zhi” is the cinnamon twig and “rou gui” is the cinnamon bark. Both are warming and are used for a variety of ailments. In the winter I add cinnamon to all sorts of foods. It helps with the common cold, swelling, various menstrual issues and some aches and pains. Be careful with it if you have a fever because it is so warming.
Maca Root is one of the superfoods I take every day. It has many healthy benefits including increasing libido, helping menopausal symptoms, relieving menstrual cramps, regulating hormones, and increasing energy.
- 1 15-oz can pumpkin puree
- ¼ cup coconut oil
- ½ cup almond milk
- 6 Tbs cashew butter
- 2 Tbs peanut butter
- 1 Tbs goji berries
- 20 pitted dates
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- ¼ tsp pumpkin pie spice
- 1 tsp maca root powder (optional)
- For topping:
- ¼ cup chopped pecans
- 2 Tbs raisins
- Place all ingredients (through maca root powder) in a food processor and process until smooth.
- Pour into a parchment-lined loaf pan.
- Top with nuts and raisins.
- Let set in freezer at least a few hours or overnight.
- Cut into squares.
- Keep leftovers on a tray, covered in freezer.